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Taking a Breather

I feel like I've been running around constantly these last few days. Even when I've been sitting still, I've been running around on the Internet. Today I'd like to sit still or at least slow down to a crawl. The best way I know is to go somewhere beautiful and calming.

I was thinking of going down to the ocean but I don't trust my rental car to take me down Highway 92 to Half Moon Bay safely. It's a Chevy Aveo. This is what Consumer Reports have to say about it: "Even as basic transportation, the Daewoo-produced Chevrolet Aveo falls short. Although marketed as an "economy car," fuel efficiency is unimpressive. The 103-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine delivers just adequate performance. The Aveo's handling lacks agility and confidence, with darty, imprecise steering and lots of body lean." The day before yesterday, when I drove to Round Valley RP, that was hugely noticeable. It's a twisty two-lane country road with lots of bumps. It would probably be fun to drive in a Mini. In a Chevy, not so much.

The car was bucking and rolling under me. At the speed of traffic, holding on to the steering wheel was a challenge. I had to slow right down and turn out occasionally to let the locals pass me. The car acted like one of those huge boats that people were driving in seventies cop shows. Nerve wracking. The road to Half Moon Bay is worse, if memory serves, so that's not happening. Shame, I feel like seeing the ocean. Brown pelicans!

I guess I could drive down to Monterey but that's a two-hour drive according to Google. Not sure I'm up for that. I don't feel like going to Pleasanton or Sunol yet. Maybe Mount Diablo? Or Las Trampas. Yesterday my TomTom got drenched. I'd rather wait another day until I turn it on to see if it survived. Las Trampas is at least relatively easy to find. Jeppmet on Flickr recommends Rocky Ridge in Las Trampas.

But it says on Bay Area Hiker that the trails there are muddy in winter. I'm not sure they'd qualify as muddy by British standards but I'd rather not risk it. Besides, it's cloudy -- the views won't be near as imposing as when it's clear. I can go to Tilden Botanical Garden instead. It's a good place for a cloudy day. It's open too and I can drop into Greyhaven afterwards.


I saw pelicans in Santa Barbara! That was one of the best things ever :) You must be so pleased to finally be able to chill a little.
I love brown pelicans. Can't wait to get a proper car so I can go see them.
I've been hiking in Tilden when it's muddy by Bay Area standards--here's what it means in that context:

The soil tends to be quite clayey, and so it retains water very, very well. Even several days or a week after a given rain, a well-used, unpaved trail will have standing water and very thick mud. emberleo and I tromped about one night and came back with--I'm not exaggerating here--a three cm-thick layer of mud on each of our shoes.

Is that muddy by UK standards? 8-)

I know Diana and I would both love to hear more about your hiking while we have lunch. See you soon!

-- Lorrie
It's not proper mud unless it sucks the boots off your feet. :-) But OK, 3cm doesn't sound like something I'd necessarily want to experience.

On the Sea Routes

There are several ways to See the Sea from where you are--92 (from San Mateo to Half Moon Bay) and 17 (from San Jose to Santa Cruz) are the easiest and most-travelled, with 84 (Palo Alto to San Gregorio) and 9 being middlin' so, and then there are back roads for the even more adventurous. With a car behaving as poorly as your rental, I don't know that I'd want to try any of those routes--either I'd be concerned about other cars hitting me on the busy, kinder roads, or that the car would give up on the less-traveled, curvier roads. Not a win either way...

May I, until you receive your new car, suggest an alternative?

One may easily visit the sea in San Francisco via public transportation. I know you don't much care for BART, but if you took it just to the first San Francisco stop (Embarcadero), then crossed to the MUNI side of the station, you could catch a N-Judah light rail (trolley) to Ocean Beach. When the N comes to the end of the line, you can see the dunes that line the Great Highway, and the Sea beyond them.

Hope that helps!

-- Lorrie

Hope that helps!